Land auction

Idaho’s land board June 11 is slated to auction farmland in the state’s growing southwest region to benefit the University of Idaho.

University of Idaho agricultural Research and Extension Centers likely will benefit from an upcoming auction of 282 acres in the growing Caldwell area.

“We will be requesting proceeds be used to purchase more land at research centers,” said Brent Olmstead, UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences assistant dean for government and external relations. The college operates nine research centers and six affiliated facilities.

The State Board of Land Commissioners will decide how to spend proceeds from the auction, scheduled at 12:30 p.m. Mountain time June 11 at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, 1789 S. Eagle Road, Meridian.

A farmer leases the property, on which UI has small research plots. It is near the former UI Caine Veterinary Teaching Center property of about 67 acres, which was sold two years ago.

Olmstead said the property to be auctioned is no longer ideal for the land grant university’s agricultural research mission since the area is urbanizing.

“It makes sense to divest that property and then request that the land board invest those proceeds into ag property we can use for research purposes,” he said. He expects the auction price to come in well over appraised value.

Idaho Department of Lands Real Estate Services Bureau Chief Josh Purkiss said in a release that the land, two-side-by-side parcels, is no longer supporting the university’s research facility and is generating nominal revenue.

It is part of Idaho’s portfolio of endowment land granted at statehood to support specific institutions, in this case UI. The department said the board agreed to the auction after determining it would bring the highest financial return to the beneficiary.

“With the current high demand for land and the prime development nature of these parcels, this has the potential to be a very exciting auction for the endowment beneficiaries,” Purkiss said.

Corbett Bottles Real Estate Marketing, which is handling the auction, said one parcel last December was appraised at $3.3 million, the other at $2.4 million.

Jan. 1 assessed value of agricultural land in Canyon County rose by about 5% between 2020 and this year, Roger Craig, the county’s rural appraiser supervisor, told Capital Press. Land for development saw a 40-50% increase.

He said ag land is assessed as such. But if it is sold and its use changes, it can be assessed according to that change of use.

Canyon County assessed values are as of Jan. 1. Appraised values are current.

“We have seen market values continuing to climb in 2021,” Craig said.

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